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Friday, January 29th, 2016  |  USD: Buy 531.29 / Sell 543.92
20 years

Sixteen businesses including hotels, restaurants, and bars closed by tax authorities

Tax authorities shuttered sixteen businesses this week. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Finance)

Tax authorities shuttered sixteen businesses this week. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Finance)

August 8th, 2014 ( The Directorate of Taxation closed sixteen businesses in Alajuela, Heredia, and San Carlos this week for failing to pay the general sales tax (IVI) and not issuing receipts (facturas) and invoices to customers.


The businesses include hotels, restaurants, bars, and retail stores, amongst others.


Ten businesses were closed for failing to pay the mandatory 13% sales tax.  The remainder were closed for failing to issue receipts and invoices.


Amongst the businesses closed by tax authorities were Hotel Arenal Vista Lodge and retailer El Regalón.


Tax authorities and the Solís administration have made clear in recent weeks their intention to crack down on tax evaders, including those who own property used as vacation rentals.


In addition, a bill presented to the Legislative Assembly on July 31st aims to provide tougher enforcement of tax obligations, both for businesses and individuals.



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  • Upset with goverment of CR

    This is the problem with Radical enforcement when it comes to collecting taxes. Most small business in Costa Rica are not getting by and unable to pay there bills. Every week i go to local farmers market and i wonder when these farmers will have to close because the don´t give receipts. The CR goverment is now saying go after everyone in Costa Rica for Taxes. If the goverment is going to be fair with business they will go after farmers and local weekend markets as well as tax free zones soon. Expect changes to Tax free zones soon i hear that many companies are now trying to find other countries to move to. New Prez has very little knowledge of Small business and just wants to show that he is in charge. Expect big problems with Unemployment in Costa Rica

    • toolman78

      That’s part of the problem here. Doing business in Costa Rica carries a lot of overhead if your going to do everything legit. Many businesses will not turn a profit if they need to comply with everything. I wonder
      how many will simply decide it’s not worth the effort.
      In the tax-free zones though, I imagine the companies didn’t move in without some sort of contractual agreement about the taxation. The current administration will have to honor those agreements.

      • mhogan

        Why should they start honoring agreements — it has never stopped them in the past. The government does what it wants. There has never been a tax that Costa Rica does not like. If they put as much effort into thinking how to improve the GDP and get people employed (other than for the government; if it isn’t already the country’s biggest employer, it’s a close second), Costa Rica may actually turn the economy around. But, of course, it won’t.

    • Peter

      I think you are wrong. First it doesn’t has to do anything with the new president and second there is a something for small businesses and private persons called for ‘pequeños contribuyentes’ from Hacienda tax office that doesn’t involve any bills snd just needs an inscription for this. This option exists for various years already…. So be sure that the stores and hotel they closed down are ‘simply’ ordinary taxevaders!

  • disgusted

    I go to a local downtown gringo bar ( about the only one left) . I never get a sales receipt. I just get a hand written piece of paper indicating how many drinks and food and total amount. They keep it. I guess I could ask for a copy. So is that legal?? There would be many ways to not pay the 13%… Commercial rates on Electricity , water. Then every quarter pay per sq meter, rent, tank of gas, liquor permit, pile on the help with the Caja, workmen s comp fee’s .. I do not know how they can make any money selling beer for 2 bucks. I only see running a bar now as money pit not a money maker.

    • David Jones

      That’s why there’s only one Gringo bar left. When the Nashville bar closed the reason given according to a Gringo newspaper was that alcohol was taxed heavily amongst other things and a profit was hard to come by.

      • Upset with goverment of CR

        Local Bar´s are closing everyday because of Tax issues and its hard to make money look at Stanley Irish pub in Zapote they where busy every night but taxes where killing this small business that had 12 staff.

  • James F. Agnos

    More taxation without representation. To the Oligarchy. Where else does the money go? The roads, bridges, and infrastructure are much better in Panama and Nicaragua (poorer countries).. Costa Rican banks handing out credit that will never be re-payed. Where can it end?

    • Guest

      de veras?

    • Upset with goverment of CR

      Your right without representation in Costa Rica nothing will change with CR goverment. There is movement that i see growing to start massive protests to change goverment in Costa Rica such as lower pension for ex goverment staff and lower salaries for congress. Expect big protests soon.

  • turbooperator


  • hpwolfe

    There are two issues: 1) Are the tax laws appropriate? (which most comments seem to address); and 2) What to do about tax evaders? Maybe the laws should be changed, but in the meantime, if some people are paying these taxes, everybody should. Maybe there would be less complaints about taxes if everybody some improved in infrastructure and services which are now being starved by a lack of funding.

  • Karen Mata

    The fabulous upside of all this is I can return to Rohrmoser (resided there 16 years) and purchase at a huge discount.

  • Karen Mata

    The past two presidents of Panama are both businessmen, and self made multimillionaires. Here you’ve elected a lifelong teacher whose biggest accomplishment had been (allegedly) getting his students into the kip.

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